KALISH FINEST BRUSHES
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From Watercolor Magic - Summer 2000 -
Kudos for the Cat's TongueThanks
for publishing Carlton Plummer's
review of the kolinsky cat's tongue brush by
Harry Kalish Finest Brushes (1 201 857-0860)
in the Autumn 1999 "Studio Staples". His
enthusiasm for the brush was infectious and
I couldn't wait to try it. I promptly ordered a
1/2-inch cat's tongue brush, and since using
it, I've been turning out my best watercolors
ever. In fact, I might as well get rid of all my
other brushes because there's no effect I can't
create with the versatile cat's tongue. Every
should try it.
Joan E Korber
From Watercolor Gazette - March/April 2004 -
Some Notes on Watercolor Brushes
By Barry Lindley
Building on the article, Back to the Basics (July/August 2003 issue), I have the following observations from
my own systemic testing and comparison of various brands. These remarks are limited to the suitability of brushes
for traditional transparent watercolor painting on paper.
When precise shapes are important in your painting (as opposed to very loose, splashy work), there is nothing better than a high quality Kolinsky brush. These hold a lot of paint, release it very steadily and predictably, hold their points well, and offer enough resistance and resilience to make them very predictable in building shapes. No synthetic brushes I have tried perform as well in these aspects, although some synthetics made with a variety of diameters of fibers (for example , Richeson Quiller Series 7000 or ProArte series 101) may perform acceptably. I have not used DaVinci Cosmotop Spin, which should perform about like Prolene or Quiller Series 7000.
Among brands of Kolinsky rounds, one finds a wide range of prices. And sizing is quite variable; one manufacturer's #8 may be close in size to another's #12. The prices result from promotion costs as well as selection of the hair to be used and the care in building the brush.
The best and most scarce Kolinsky brushes are generally considered to come from the long stiff tail hair of winter male Siberian Kolinsky weasels. Some manufacturers using this select hair are Kalish, Winsor & Newton Series 7, and DaVinci Maestro. One supply house is marketing the DaVinci Maestro 35 as a "Charles Reid" brush.
Other brushes labeled Kolinsky may come from other areas (Tajmir, China, Harbin), and may be made from females caught any time of year or even be mislabeled. These brushes may still be pretty good and distinctly superior to synthetics.
I can recommend Kalish Series1 (generously sized), DaVinci Maestro Series 35, or Daniel Smith Autograph Series 44-14 as being very fine brushes, wonderfully pleasing to use, although expensive. Close behind come Escoda (Spanish) and Cheap Joe's Dragon's Tongue. These are reasonably priced, and may be as much as most painters would want. They are sized somewhat smaller.
Flats from the same manufacturers appear to me to perform along the same lines as the rounds. Kalish flats come as both one-stroke (very long hair) and brights. I find flats preferable for paintings with architectual elements, or just sometimes because I like the different kind of strokes and action.
If I went to a dessert island with only three brushes,
I would grab a Kalish Series 1 Size 12 round Kolinsky,
a Kalish Series 2 1-inch flat Kolinsky (or wider if I
had an inheritance before then), and my Isabey #0
squirrel mop. For my type of painting, I don't use
very small brushes often, and the points on these are
good. I think I could paint about anything from a
postcard up to a full sheet with just these.
From American Artist Magazine - July 2004
CREATING DYNAMIC TENSION
Max Mason begins all his work on-site to gain an intimate knowledge of his subject matter, thus creating a dynamic painting.
(A wonderful six-page article by Linda S. Price which takes the reader through the philosophy, planning, and techniques of this great painter.)
"Surprises often make the difference between a painting that really sings and something formulaic. Things that are too predictable are boring."
Mason prefers Kalish Brushes, mainly rounds, because they allow him to draw a delicate line with the point, as well as load up paint for thick passages. For his murals and large oil paintings, he uses bristle brushes, reserving sabels for his small still lifes and delicate passages in his larger works. However painting negative spaces in his construction-site paintings, such as the sky between the framework of scaffolding, demands flats. His bristle rounds are seldom larger than a No. 10 or 12, and his sables are in the No. 6 to 8 range. To speed drying, he uses Liquin medium.
Excerpt from WATERCOLOR MAGIC MAGAZINE
August 2007 "Light Hand" by Deborah Secor
about well-known artist and teacher Mark de Mos
"I get my brushes from a local guy, Harry Kalish. He recently started
making squirrel brushes, which I never liked much, but he uses different
hair. They keep a nice point so I can do a lot of things with them. I have
sable rounds and ovals, and I like the square synthetics. I also use lettering
brushes and square 'one-strokes'."